Distribution, Competition, and Antitrust / IP Law

Competition Law in the Ancient World

Regarding my recent post on Roman competition law, a reader sent in this link about an economic study of the Athenian grain merchants in the 4th Century B.C.

From the paper’s abstract:

This paper examines one of the earliest known antitrust or competition policy cases for possible lessons concerning antitrust treatment of monopsony power in the present day. In 388 B.C., grain regulators in Athens, Greece, were attempting to respond to a sharp increase in grain prices. They encouraged grain importers to form a buyers’ cartel with the purpose of decreasing the price of imported grain. However, this action resulted in an overall increase in price and the grain merchants soon found themselves on trial for their lives. In this paper the information presented at that trial is used to evaluate the grain merchants’ actions and the impact of monopsony on prices and consumption more generally.

Reader, I’m happy to give credit to you by name for this interesting link — just let me know.

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About Howard Ullman

Antitrust, competition, and IP law enthusiast.


  1. Howard Ullman says:

    Hat tip for the link goes to Dimitris Temperis from Athens, Greece. Thanks.

  2. Thanks. I wonder if I could get this paper?

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